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1080 "Road Show" Hits Regional Council Circuit

1080 "Road Show" Hits Regional Council Circuit

For Immediate Release

28 March 2008

In a bold new public relations campaign, an All Star team of New Zealand's top promoters of the use of 1080 has been assembled to lobby regional councils for expanded use of the poison.

Facing the loss of millions of dollars in Animal Health Board funding as a result of a diminished bovine tuberculosis threat, leaders of the 1080 industry are putting new pressure on councils to pick up their spending on the poison.

Starting Monday in Hamilton, a group of presenters will address Waikato Regional Council's pest management committee on poison formulations, safety issues, and managing public relations.

The panel's presenters represent a range of interests, all dependent on continued and expanded use of the toxin nationwide for financial support and ongoing funding.

They include Landcare researcher John Innes, poison company executive Charlie Eason, pro-1080 public relations strategist Wren Green, and EW's own John Simmons, who as head of pest control for the Waikato worked for five years with DOC and AHB on designing and managing the recent 1080 re-approval process at ERMA. Also part of the promotional panel is Roger Lorigan, head of helicopter company EPRO, which receives millions of dollars in contracts to carry out aerial drops.

Reaction from Waikato farmers, health and toxin experts, and community groups has been swift and outraged. They say that the so-called "educational" event for council is actually a biased, misleading, and distorted "1080 Field Day" designed to actively promote increased funding and use.

According to Upper Coromandel Landcare Association spokesperson Reihana Robinson, "Every single presenter is financially dependent on contracts either to study, promote or apply the poison. This isn't education. This is all promo and propaganda from New Zealand's 1080 industry leaders."

Says Robinson, "If councils here in the Waikato and around the country want complete information, they need to hear from researchers without conflicts of interest, from qualified toxicologists, from physicians, from the farmers who lose stock to 1080 accidents, and from the community members whose drinking water is being threatened."

"The fact is that the Tb threat isn't there anymore and neither is AHB funding for the 1080 industry. These people are panicked and are kicking off a 1080 Road Show to convince ratepayers around the country to foot the bill‹to the tune of tens of millions."


ENDS

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